Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in a nutshell

2013 in no particular order.
  • Turned 50 and celebrated with an amazing family holiday in Florida and partied in my favourite restaurant Seasons 52. Also had Ben Cantelon sing happy birthday to me at MKCC. See the pic below. lol
  • Celebrated being married to the wonderful Nicola Ritchie for 25 years
  • Abbie came of age - 21. Wow where did those years go.
  • Liam finished college to his delight and started his first job as a Facilities Apprentice.
  • Saw the end of an era with Sir Alex retiring. Sure he did good for Man U but will never be forgotten for what he did at Aberdeen FC. 30 years since Gothenberg wow!
  • Witnessed a Scotsman win Wimbledon!
  • Saw many years of prayer come to fruition with 1000 people gathering each week at MKCC. Now for 2000!
  • Said goodbye to my old mate from college days. William Dillon. Proud to have been give the privilege of saying a few words at his funeral and to carry him down the Shankill Road.
  • Said a goodbye to a new friend of the last couple of years. Loved my chats with Juergen Brinner downloading his wisdom. My regret? there were not more of them!
  • Got to see my friend Roger Blackmore's new church building taking shape before its opening this month. Great times ahead for - Genesis Church
  • Spent time with the love of my life at home and in York, Spain, France, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida & Long Island.
  • Benefited from the ministry of Roger Blackmore, Carlos Whittaker, Lee McDerment & Dave Kraft at MKCC. Amazing!
  • Lost a stone in weight and been pretty good at keeping it off!
And whatever 2014 brings this is my song:

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Saviour;

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call
Resting in my Saviour as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

(For anyone reading this from Cairnbulg AOG, I can always here old Obie singing out loud when see that song)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Glory to the new born king

Some Rend Collective Love.

Click here if you can't see the video

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I shall be satisfied

When I shall see Thy glory face to face,
When in Thine arms Thou wilt Thy child embrace,
When Thou shalt open all Thy stores of grace,
I shall be satisfied.

When I shall gaze upon the face of Him
Who for me died, with eye no longer dim,
And praise Him with the everlasting hymn,
I shall be satisfied.

- Horatius Bonar

Monday, December 23, 2013

Grace so Glorious

Beneath the cross of Jesus Christ
No shadow remains for shame to hide
Redemption shone for all to see
Perfection bore our penalty
With a grace so glorious...

Immortal day the veil was torn
When mercy donned a crown of thorns
As law gave way to liberty
And freedom for humanity
With a grace so glorious.

Oh the glory of the Saviour's love
Surrounding our surrender
To know forever we are welcomed home

Crowned in glory to glory
Worthy is the Lord of all
The glory forever Holy is the Lord

Triumphant praises without end
All hailing the King of righteousness
And every eye beholds the One
Our hearts were undeserving of
With a grace so glorious

O wondrous day when I will see
The face of Him who ransomed me
I'll fall in worship at His feet
And rise to reign eternally
In a grace so glorious
In a grace so glorious

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Grace is one-way love

Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you. Grace is being loved when you are unlovable…. The cliché definition of grace is “unconditional love.” It is a true cliché, for it is a good description of the thing. Let’s go a little further, though. Grace is a love that has nothing to do with you, the beloved. It has everything and only to do with the lover. Grace is irrational in the sense that it has nothing to do with weights and measures. It has nothing to do with my intrinsic qualities or so-called “gifts”. It reflects a decision on the part of the giver, the one who loves, in relation to the receiver, the one who is loved, that negates any qualifications the receiver may personally hold…. Grace is one-way love. - Paul Zahl

(HT Pastor Tullian)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Risk Love Takes

Thanks to Anne Marie Miller for sharing this great poem by Madeleine L’Engle.

The Risk of Birth

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.

That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour & truth were trampled by scorn
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.

When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Gospel is not meant to make us happy....

Pure Gold - a new video just released by the MLJ Trust of an interview with Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones.

The Gospel is not meant to make us happy....it is meant to reconcile us to God

Click here if you cant see the video

Monday, December 09, 2013

Thank you and where now for MKCC?

Over the last few Sundays we have seen the fulfilment of many years of prayer as we have seen over 1000 people join with us each Sunday at MKCC.

This past Sunday Pastor Mark Sherratt shared our core values at MKCC and cast the vision for our church to grow to see 2000 people join with us each weekend.

To facilitate this MKCC will be moving to 3 services each Sunday - 9 am, 10:45 am & 12 noon.

Click here if you can't see the video

Milton Keynes Christian Centre exists to bring people to Jesus, equipping them to be fully devoted followers of Christ.

As fully devoted followers of Christ... :

Lost people matter to God, so they must matter to us.

We do life together - building a loving community.

We have made an intentional commitment to grow up in Christ.
We are simply God's servants doing what he equipped us to do and watching him make the difference.

We will share radical grace with others in the same uncompromising way we received it from Christ.

We will lead the way with irrational generosity - we truly believe it is more blessed to give than receive.

We want to excel in all that we do so that we inspire others, honour God and bring a smile to His face.

Friday, December 06, 2013

A 10,000 year perspective of suffering

An amazing discussion in the goodness of God in suffering by John Piper, Matt Chandler & David Platt.

"I set out to prepare my people for suffering... I don't know how you rejoice in suffering without a sense of the size and magnificence of God" - Matt Chandler

"The fact that He (God) is sovereign over all is the rock for praise, for confidence in the middle of pain." - David Platt

"Sorrowful yet always rejoicing" - John Piper

"God uses sorrowful tragedy to set the stage for surprising triumph whether in this life or the life to come. - David Platt

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Final whisper.... GAIN!

The Calvinist by John Piper

See him nearing death,
Listen to his breath,
Through the ebbing pain,
Final whisper.... GAIN!

The Calvinist from Desiring God on Vimeo.

Click here if you can't see the video

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

All About Jesus

God is known to us most profoundly in the mediatorship of Jesus Christ, and it is through the economic relationship of Father-Son and Son-Spirit that we can glimpse into the Trinity.

In creation, God makes the universe in, through, and for Jesus Christ.

In revelation, Jesus Christ unveils the mystery of God, executing the divine covenant for redemption, hidden in ages past but unveiled in these last days.

In eschatology, the end of all things involves every man and woman appearing before the judgment seat of Christ and Christ himself consummating the Father’s purposes of the new creation.

On the Holy Spirit, Jesus is the bearer of the Spirit and the dispenser of the Spirit; only through him is the Spirit given.

The church is a community called and commissioned by Jesus to represent him before the world.

Ethics is the practical discipline of learning to walk in Christ’s steps behind him and showing our likeness to him in our behaviour….

If theology were a maze, every corner and every turn would lead us to Jesus (343-344).

Evangelical Theology - Mike Bird

Monday, December 02, 2013

For yours is the KINGDOM

I had the total honour of closing out our series, "When you pray say...." at Milton Keynes Christian Centre this past Sunday. For yours is the kingdom the power and the glory for ever and ever amen!

Click here if you cant see the video

When You Pray Say - Yours is the Kingdom from MKCCpreaching on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

When you pray say: Give us....

I had the opportunity to share the latest message in our series at Milton Keynes Christian Centre - When You Pray Say...

(click here if you can't see the video)

When You Pray Say - Give us our daily bread from MKCCpreaching on Vimeo.

  • Give us each day our daily bread. - Luke 11:3
  • Today's TRUST for today's NEEDS unlocks today's PROVISION. 
  • When they were hungry the Children of Israel grumbled against their leaders. When in need there is a huge difference between grumbling and praying. 
  • Our growth is more important to God than our comfort.
  • Comfort is not Christ's primary objective for his followers. It is displacement of self so he can take his rightful place. 
  • God wants to build your trust on him and he will use EVERYTHING to do it. 
  • The more we trust God the more he is glorified. 
  • When continually asking, seeking and knocking in prayer don't forget to listen for the answer. 
  • Paul came to a place of maturity in prayer with his "thorn in the flesh" that he knew God wasn't going to take it away but give him something as well - Grace to live with it. 
  • The Children of Israel had to trust God at ZERO each day before the mana came. We have problems trusting him at 90% after giving a tithe. 
  • There is a vast difference between wants and needs. 
  • Often our prayers are filled with an abundance of talking and a scarcity of listening. 
  • We need to learn contentment. Too many of us are buying stuff we don't need with money we don't have. 
  • When Paul told the believers at Philippi that God would supply "all their needs" it is important to remember that these guys were sacrificially giving to support Paul's missionary journeys and church planting programme. 
  • Paul "could do all things through Christ who strengthened him" including plenty, hunger, abundance and need. In fact in EVERY circumstance. 
  • Paul knew and believed that God had his back. Paul knew and believed that God loved him & Paul believed that God was enough.

Friday, November 08, 2013

God created me to worship him

Suddenly these words mean just that little bit more to me:

Jesus means everything to me...... life is not worth doing without Jesus. Hard things happen every day because the Gospel has changed my life in a great way that I will never fully ultimately know. Worship is my life. God has created me to worship. Jesus paid the ultimate price and if I don't totally worship him its like I don't appreciate him dying for me.

Click here if you cant see the video

Living With Cerebral Palsy from The Austin Stone on Vimeo.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I have decided

This video just brought a whole new perspective to my understanding of an old song I used to sing in Sunday School.

Elevation Creative: I Have Decided from Elevation Media on Vimeo.

Click here if you can't see the video

I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Not Been Forsaken

Click here if you cant see the video

I know that you think you’ve grown, can do it all alone
But don’t throw away the memories of the past
Remember the love I’ve shown to you all along
And my door is open for you, for you to come back home, prodigal…

I know that you may think you’ll make it on your own
The truth is I can see the path that you have chose
So one thing you should know,
wherever you go, and no matter where life may take you
There’s one thing you should remember,
I don’t want you to forget it
That no matter what you have not been forsaken
I need you to know that you have not been forsaken

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Choose to Struggle not Criticise

It would seem that too many people who are part of the called out people of God - His Church seem to rejoice it taking a swipe at the Church be it the global or local expression.

Paul gave us such a different example. He chose to struggle for the Church rather than criticise the church. In fact his struggle for the church meant suffering for the church.

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church..... 28 Him (Jesus) we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. 1.For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you. - Col 1:24,28 & 3:1

It is even easy for a local church pastor to criticise some of the people God has entrusted to him and equipped him for, to complain about a lack of maturity in them.

Paul chose to use his voice to PROCLAIM, WARN & TEACH EVERYONE rather than CRITICISE & COMPLAIN about EVERYONE.

He chose to STRUGGLE with all GOD'S energy that had been given to him for the CHURCH.

It's just to easy to choose to CRITICISE but to STRUGGLE we would rather not.
Those who have no grace in their hearts despise the church of God. Those who have only a little grace have but slight sympathy with her condition. Those who have great grace and are conscious of having received much mercy from God have great sympathy with the church of God, and a deep regard for her. - Charles H Spurgeon

Saturday, October 12, 2013

To love is to be vulnerable

"Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” - C S Lewis

Image via Church Mag

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Unleashing Discipleship

Unleash - Discipleship from MKCCpreaching on Vimeo.

I had the honour of continuing our latest teaching series at MKCC this past Sunday. The core message of Unleash is to get the followers of Jesus to stop just "coming to church" but to be the church. Outside of the box.

My task this week Unleashing Discipleship. Where I shared a little of my journey of growth, shaping and change in following Jesus.

Thanks to Andy Stanley for helping through his book "Deep & Wide" for giving me 5 points that all start with the letter P.

  1. Practical Teaching
  2. Personal Disciplines
  3. Personal Ministry
  4. Providential Relationships
  5. Pivotal Circumstances
If you can't see the video above click here

Friday, September 20, 2013

You don't know the cost...

"Alabaster Box"

The room grew still
As she made her way to Jesus
She stumbles through the tears that made her blind
She felt such pain
Some spoke in anger
Heard folks whisper
There's no place here for her kind
Still on she came
Through the shame that flushed her face
Until at last, she knelt before his feet
And though she spoke no words
Everything she said was heard
As she poured her love for the Master
From her box of alabaster

And I've come to pour
My praise on Him
Like oil from Mary's alabaster box
Don't be angry if I wash his feet with my tears
And I dry them with my hair
You weren't there the night He found me
You did not feel what I felt
When he wrapped his love all around me and
You don't know the cost of the oil
In my alabaster box

I can't forget the way life used to be
I was a prisoner to the sin that had me bound
And I spent my days
Poured my life without measure
Into a little treasure box
I'd thought I'd found
Until the day when Jesus came to me
And healed my soul
With the wonder of His touch
So now I'm giving back to Him
All the praise He's worthy of
I've been forgiven
And that's why
I love Him so much

And I've come to pour
My praise on Him
Like oil from Mary's alabaster box
Don't be angry if I wash his feet with my tears
And dry them with my hair
You weren't there the night Jesus found me
You did not feel what I felt
When He wrapped his loving arms around me and
You don't know the cost of the oil
Oh, you don't know the cost of my praise
You don't know the cost of the oil
In my alabaster box

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Relationships: 7 golden nuggets for us men

  1. Winning an argument may harm your relationship.
  2. What you do for her is never more important than who you are to her.
  3. A date isn’t a marriage proposal.
  4. Digital communication should always be leading to face-to-face communication, not taking away from it.
  5. Words can be everything.
  6. Listening, not fixing, is often the best remedy to her problem.
  7. You are worthy of respect. But don’t demand it.
Via relevant magazine

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mega: It doesn't need to be a dirty word when it comes to church

Below is part of an infographic that is doing the rounds at the moment. I have no way of knowing of all the facts and figures mentioned in it are correct. Certainly it doesn't show some Pastors in the most favourable light.

But I think I will choose to focus on some great examples that seem to handle the "fame" and "fortune" in a great way.

Not only does LifeChurch.TV give their resources away for free but they invest big time in youversion and the Bible App and give it away free.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The joy of it.....

Thank you Jesus that you have given me a ring side seat at this adventure where you continue to change lives.

Baptisms and Testimonies - 8th September 2013 from MKCCVIDS on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Servant Leadership

Our Senior Pastor Mark Sherratt recently shared this at a MKCC staff meeting. This priceless truth keeps on challenging me:

John 13 - Now I have done this as your leader, YOU DO IT and you will be blessed.

Building an enlarging culture / environment in our teams
  • Believe in others before they believe in you. 
    • Ask what is unique, special or wonderful about a team member. 
    • Share your observations with them and others.
    • If you believe in others and give them a positive reputation to uphold, you can help them to become better than they think they are.
  • Serve others before they serve you.
    • Helping others to reach their potential is the greatest thing you can do 
    • Make serving others a priority because of who you are and who's you are. (Reflects who you are (attitude), it Represents who's you are (Jesus) to Realign or Refocus us on how we act - style)
  • Add value to others before they add value to you.
    • People tend to move towards anyone who increases them and further away from people who devalue them. 
    • In all our dealings with team members, volunteers etc. point out their strengths encourage them and help to improvement. (How: further conversations/ reg meetings / Book recommendations, training events, learn from another leader etc) 
    • when you help people succeed and grow to another level, you go to another level yourself.

Monday, September 09, 2013


“Blessed are the meek, for they WILL inherit the earth” — Matthew 5:5

“The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto.” - A W Tozer

Image via theresurgence

Friday, September 06, 2013

Holding out for Grace

At the centre of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics - in physical laws - every action is met by an equal or an opposite one.

Its clear to me that Karma is at the very hear of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "As you reap, so you will sow"stuff.

Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff... I'd be in trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge..... It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace.

I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity.

Bono, U2 - 2005 interview with Michka Assayas

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Something missing?

"You have made us of yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you". - Augustine

"When is it then...which man in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain in things present? But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable Object, that is to say, only by God Himself." - Blaise Pascal

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world" - C S Lewis

The answer never changes throughout the centuries - Jesus

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Scandal of Grace

Grace, what have you done?
Murdered for me on that cross
Accused in absence of wrong
My sin washed away in your blood

Too much to make sense of it all
I know that your love breaks my fall
The scandal of grace,
you died in my place
So my soul will live

Oh to be like you
(To) Give all I have just to know you
Jesus, there's no one besides you
Forever the hope in my heart

Death, where is your sting?
Your power is as dead as my sin
The cross has taught me to live
In mercy, my heart now to sing

The day and it's trouble shall come
I know that your strength is enough
The scandal of grace, you died in my place
So my soul will live

Oh to be like you
(To) Give all I have just to know you
Jesus, there's no one besides you
Forever the hope in my heart

And it's all because of you,
Jesus It's all because of you,
Jesus It's all because of your love
And my soul will live Chorus

Oh to be like you
(To) Give all I have just to know you
Jesus, there's no one besides you


Thursday, August 29, 2013

How to live a clean life?

I'm no longer a young man by any stretch of imagination but I think this is good advice NO matter what are you are!

Thanks Garry Patterson for posting

Psalm 119:9-16…

"How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed,
God; train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
I won’t forget a word of it.”

How can a young (or any) person live a clean life?… That’s How.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Anne Jackson - Permission to Speak Freely

My Story: The Preacher’s Daughter & The Youth Pastor – My Introduction to Sexual Abuse and Pornography

A title to a blog post by Anne Marie Miller (Previously Anne Jackson) which jolts against your sensitivities. But I have read much of Anne's story in 2 of her previous books: "Mad Church Disease" & "Permission to Speak Freely".

Thankfully Anne is one of the few people I have come across who are willing to talk openly about some of the raw difficulties she has faced and is facing in her life. I am sure her openess will give hope to so many others as it has done in my life.

Watch Anne share her story first hand by clicking on the pic below.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Jesus: Version 346.5?

Almost two years ago I heard Judah Smith say:
There is no mystery, no secret or software update that can supplement JESUS.
It is no secret to those who know me that I love gadgets and in particular gadgets with an APPLE on them. But not long after you have made the huge investment for the latest item, the new technology soon becomes old hat. The upgrade eventually makes the previous obsolete.

The Bible makes it clear that with Jesus there is no upgrade.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever - Heb 13:8

There is no need for an upgrade on the PERFECT COMPLETE work of Jesus. When he said it was finished he didn't mean version 1.0 or even 2.0. His version can not be upgraded or bettered in any way.
I often wonder if I really know what I have in - JESUS - since when was Jesus not enough - Judah Smith
Image from StevenFurtick.com

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I want to yearn for you.....

“Yearn” (Shane & Shane) from Desiring God on Vimeo.

Holy design
This place in time
That I might seek and find my God
My God

Lord, I want to yearn for You
I want to burn with passion
And over You
And only You
Lord, I want to yearn for You
I want to burn with passion
Over You
And only You
Lord, I want to yearn

Your joy is mine
Yet why am I fine?
With all my singing and bringing grain
In light of Him

Oh, You give life and breath
And in You we live and move
That's why I sing

Lord, I want to yearn for You
I want to burn with passion
And over You
And only You
Lord, I want to yearn for You
I want to burn with passion
And over You And only You
Lord, I want to yearn

Saturday, August 24, 2013

You have permission to _______________

Love this from Elevation Church. Click here if you can's see the video.

You Have Permission To _______ from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Missing God

You live in terms of what you see and touch. I’m living on other terms. I told you that YOU WERE MISSING GOD IN ALL OF THIS. - John 8:23 (Message)

Maybe the most surprising thing about Jesus statement is not that fact that people miss God, but it is where and to whom he said it.

He didn't say it in a brothel or crack house he said it in the TEMPLE.

He didn't say it to the so called reprobates of society he said it to RELIGIOUS LEADERS of the day.

They spent their days reading God's Word, busy in service, surrounded by reminders of God but were missing God in it all.

Even when God turned up in their midst they MISSED him.

The proof is in the opening verses of this chapter where everything they thought about God meant that their job was to pronounce judgement on a woman who was caught in sin. They had become God's policemen rather than His guides to point people to his grace.

They missed God big time.

God help me not to miss God in all of this.

In all our music, teaching, campaigns, campuses, plants, conferences, podcasts, books, blogs, strategies, programmes and all, God don't let me miss you!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Lighthouse

We had the great honour of hosting Rend Collective Experiment at MKCC on Sunday. As well as doing a great job at leading our church in worship of Jesus they are just great humble people.

They taught us one of their amazing new songs which was full of gut wrenching honesty but a sure hope that we have in Jesus - My Lighthouse

Check out the video here if you cant see it.

In my wresting and in my doubts
In my failures You won't walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

In the silence You won't let go
In my questions Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

My lighthouse, My lighthouse
Shining in the darkness,
I will follow You
My lighthouse, My lighthouse
I will trust the promise,
You will carry me
Safe to shore

Fire before us You're the brightest

Monday, August 19, 2013

Trusting HIM to keep us

Andrew Murray - Abide in Me (Ch 3)

MORE than one admits that it is a sacred duty and a blessed privilege to abide in Christ, but shrinks back continually before the question: Is it possible, a life of unbroken fellowship with the Saviour?

Eminent Christians, to whom special opportunities of cultivating this grace have been granted, may attain to it; for the large majority of disciples, whose life, by a divine appointment, is so fully occupied with the affairs of this life, it can scarce be expected. The more they hear of this life, the deeper their sense of its glory and blessedness, and there is nothing they would not sacrifice to be made partakers of it. But they are too weak, too unfaithful--they never can attain to it.

Dear souls! how little they know that the abiding in Christ is just meant for the weak, and so beautifully suited to their feebleness. It is not the doing of some great thing, and does not demand that we first lead a very holy and devoted life. No, it is simply weakness entrusting itself to a Mighty One to be kept--the unfaithful one casting self on One who is altogether trustworthy and true.

Abiding in Him is not a work that we have to do as the condition for enjoying His salvation, but a consenting to let Him do all for us, and in us, and through us. It is a work He does for us--the fruit and the power of His redeeming love. Our part is simply to yield, to trust, and to wait for what He has engaged to perform.

Stop performing and let God perform

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Move into the neighbourhood

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. - John 1:14

Thursday, August 15, 2013

If Jesus.....?

David Platt - Silence Is Arrogance from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Privatised faith and a resurrected King is practically inconceivable - David Platt

Watch the full message here

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Worship is more than a song

Click here if you cant see the video

Jimmy Needham

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that's the measure you must take to crush the idols
Jerk the pews & all the decorations, too
Until the congregations few, then have revival
Tell your friends that this is where the party ends
Until you're broken for your sins, you can't be social
Then seek the Lord & wait for what He has in store
And know that great is your reward so just be hopeful

'Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song

Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper
Beg Him please to open up His mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister
Shine the light on every corner of your life
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open
Then read the Word and put to test the things you've heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken

'Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song

We must not worship something that's not even worth it
Clear the stage, make some space for the One who deserves it
Any thing I put, before my God, is an idol
Any thing I want, with all my heart, is an idol
Any thing I can't, stop thinking of, is an idol
Any thing that I, give all my love, is an idol

Cause I can sing all I want to
Yes I can, sing all I want to
And we can, sing all we want to
We can, sing all we want to
We can sing all we want to
And still get it wrong
Worship is more than a song

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that's the measure you must take to crush the idols

Surprising Faith

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. - Hab 3:17 & 18

The small book of Habakkuk is tucked into the books of the prophets of the Old Testament but this prophet doesn't seem to fit the mould. Instead of talking to people on God's behalf the book is a conversation between him and God.

It is one of those profound conversations where the created is questioning the creator with the age old question: Why?

Although Habakkuk does get some answers in the middle of these answers God introduces the concept that is picked up and quoted by New Testament writers.

"the righteous shall live by his faith" 2:4

For Habakkuk the light comes on and he composes the song that we have read above. A song that crystallises the very essence of faith. Not predominately a tool to prise something from an unwilling deity. But as an anchor of trust buried deep in the eternal plan of an almighty God no matter what is going on within our envelope of time.

William Cowper quoted Habakkuk in his hymn Sometimes a light surprises:

Sometimes a light surprises the Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord, who rises with healing in His wings:
When comforts are declining, He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining, to cheer it after rain.

In holy contemplation we sweetly then pursue
The theme of God’s salvation, and find it ever new.
Set free from present sorrow, we cheerfully can say,
Let the unknown tomorrow bring with it what it may.

It can bring with it nothing but He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing will clothe His people, too; Beneath the spreading heavens, no creature but is fed;
And He Who feeds the ravens will give His children bread.

Though vine nor fig tree neither their wonted fruit should bear, Though all the field should wither, nor flocks nor herds be there;
Yet God the same abiding, His praise shall tune my voice,
For while in Him confiding, I cannot but rejoice.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lead me to the rock....

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. - Psalm 61:1-3

This Psalm is the was the basis for a song sang by the Gathers (not really my style of music more my mums). Search on youtube and you will find numerous takes of friends with smiling faces gathered around the camp fire singing the words to a light and happy tune.

For me the psalm and the song create in my heart more of a guttural desperate cry for help from a God that in the moment seems far away. Whilst trying to remember the times when God has shown up and daring to ask him to show up again. Praying in faith mixed with that tinge of doubt that is still present in our minds even though we wish it wasn't. Lord I believe, Help my unbelief!

Lead me to the rock.....

When my heart is overwhelmed
And my eyes are blind to You
And the pain of life is just too heavy to bear

And then the mountains seems so high
And my faith's too weak to climb

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I
Lead me to the rock, lead me to the rock

When my life is hit with fear
And I fight to hide the tears
And I wrestle in my heart to know what to do Lord,

I'm welling up inside But I know You hear my cry
Jesus, lead me to the rock that is higher than I

You are the rock and there is no other
A tower of strength, You are my shelter
Lord, You are my hope eternal
You are the rock that is higher than I

Monday, August 12, 2013

7 things a leader MUST do

Originally posted by Ron Edmondson:

7 things a leader must do
  1. Think bigger – Leaders don’t have the luxury of “resting in the moment” for long. Celebrate yes. But, then the leader must begin thinking “What’s new?”, “What’s next?” or “What needs improving?” Things are changing fast and to keep up, you’ll have to always be thinking beyond today.
  2. Include others – There once may have been a day where a solo leader could flourish, but those days are gone. People want a seat at the table of decision. Information can no longer be controlled. Reclusive leaders aren’t trusted and therefore not followed far. In the process, they waste valuable talent and opportunities from people on their team. (Also empower and release others)
  3. Remain positive – Leading isn’t easy. To say it is would mean life is easy…and it isn’t. Leading involves navigating through ups and downs and the successful leader will be the one who can keep people anxiously and excitedly looking forward through each season. On dark days a leader must point people towards better days…towards hope. (Towards Jesus)
  4. Challenge status quo – Change has always been part of society, but today change is happening at warp speed. Leaders must be agents of discovery and agents of improvement. Effective leaders must continually encourage people beyond what they think they can do. (and understand that most people don't like change at first. You must choose courage over comfort)
  5. Insure strategic thinking – We rarely reach a destination by chance, and so effective leaders are strategy experts. They work with people to craft a path to reach a destination that may not always look exactly like what we thought it would, but gets us closer to achieving our vision. We must get better with less resources and that will require strategy.
  6. Communicate effectively – In a day where information is at everyone’s fingertips, and the quantity of information is overwhelming for all of us, the most effective leaders will be skilled communicators. They will be able to filter us through the mass of information to the most important information in the context of achieving our vision.
  7. Stand firm – The successful leader will be able to guide a group of people towards a well-defined, easy to understand, worthy vision…in spite of hardships, setbacks and disappointments. As fast as change is changing, there must be some things which are consistent, which can grab and keep people’s heart and energy long term. Otherwise, we will see no real progress. That means effective leaders can’t get distracted with things that in the end won’t even matter. (Perry Noble says - Listen to Jesus and do what HE says.)

Friday, August 09, 2013

Boasting about?

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. - 2 Cor 12:9

Just prior to this declaration Paul has opened his life and heart to his readers in total vulnerability. He gives them the inside track on two polar opposite experiences in his life. A revelation and a thorn.

He had a revelation of God and heaven in a supernatural way. Not sure in his own mind how it all came together but it was so incredible that "he heard things that could not be told". He doesn't even make it clear that he was the man who experienced this incredible revelation of God.

But he also owns, personally, "the thorn" he has and chooses to share his weaknesses with his Corinthians friends. We have no real clue what the thorn was. But his prayers for it to be taken away had "FAILED" and he had come to realise that the reason that they had failed was that somewhere inside he had the tendency to become "CONCEITED".

So he plays down the fact that he has encountered a spiritual experience that virtually no one else ever has. And chooses to play up the awareness that his prayers have failed, he is stuck with a weakness and has a tendency to become conceited.

An incredible example of a revelation from one of the greatest leaders of our faith.

Somehow in today's information age I feel we would have heard a little more about the "heavenly" experience that the irritating "thorn".

Books would have been written, speaking tours would have been arranged, facebook pages would have been published and twitter would have been tweeting with 140 characters of the "things that could not be told". All to tell us about the man who went to heaven so we could marvel at how great he was and feel like they were somehow less of a christian.

Paul chose to write about his weaknesses so that generations of Christians to come would know that greatness rests with Jesus not his followers.

Making clear that hiding your weakness only hides them from the grace that is sufficient to make them irrelevant in the panorama of His power.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. - Romans 8:18

The Bible is not silent on suffering in fact so much of the letters written to the early churches return to this difficult subject with monotonous regularity. Guided by the Holy Spirit the writers of God's Word were lead to open up this tender wound again and again.

Not only did being part of this new kingdom not protect you from all the common trails of this world, like sickness and natural disasters, but it brought a new world of pain through persecution. Following Jesus actually added to suffering in a tangible way.

Three things Paul tells the Roman church to bring comfort in suffering.
  1. Compare your suffering with the glory to come. Call to mind everything you know about how marvellous God is then take a deep breath and realise the the true extent of God's glory has not even been revealed to you yet!
  2. Understand that the Holy Spirit is praying for us even if no one else is or we don't even know what to pray.

    Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. - Romans 8:26
  3. Realise that whatever is happening in our lives, God WILL use it to accomplish GOOD in his eternal plan.

    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Leaders Who Last

A few weeks ago we had the great privilage of hosting Dave Kraft one of the Elders at Mars Hill Church at MKCC. Dave spent a day sharing with leaders on how they can finish well.

Here are some of his observations of his time here:

  • The very diverse ethnic make up of MKCC. Lots of people from Africa and other European countries are part of their fellowship. 
  • The strong vision MKCC has to impact, and make a difference in their community and the surrounding region with the Gospel 
  • The commitment the leadership team is making to invest in the next generation of leaders. 
  • The number of very young leaders that MKCC is currently training. I met some at the seminar as young as 14! 
  • The vibrant worship on Sunday at MKCC. They were completely engaged and enthusiastic.
And a short video of his trip:

England_June2013_LFTH from Dave Kraft on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


Revere is:

A 7 piece London based band.
A  Jersey Hotel.
An Estate Agency.
A US City.

But it is also how we should approach God's Word.

Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who REVERES the commandment will be rewarded. - Prov 13:13

The word is defined as:

To regard with respect tinged with awe.

And comes from the Latin - reverērī, to stand in awe of, fear, feel reverence.

Sometimes I ignore it by leaving it on a shelf or as an unopened tab at the top of my browser. Sometimes I ignore it by reading its words and doing the opposite. Sometimes I read it in desperation just to find a verse that will help me out of a hole. Sometimes I read it to arm me to prove a point. Sometimes I read it so I can beat another person up with it. Sometimes I read it just so I can preach a sermon. Sometimes I read it just to check the performance box. All of these and more the Bible describes as DESPISING God's Word.

To open its pages with trembling hands is our deep privilege. Our heart beating with a mixture of excitement and a tinge of awe as we allow our eyes to settle on the very words of God we discover exactly who he is.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Abide in His Love

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. - John 15:9

Abide means to: stay - stand - endure - reside - dwell - remain - bear.

Jesus not only says COME to me, FOLLOW me, he says ABIDE in me. If our relationship with Jesus has in any way disappointed, our expectations not met it would be best to look at our own heart rather then Jesus heart.

To often we come and even follow but to abide we find difficult. There is a richness yet to be discovered in the infinite sea of God's love for us. We have felt its cool touch on our tired feet as it laps around our ankles only to be distracted and wander off never understanding fully what we have turned our backs on.

We have been satisfied with a mere touch of his hand when he is waiting to embrace.

"The intercourse was not only to be unbroken, but most intimate and complete. He opened His arms, to press you to His bosom; He opened His heart, to welcome you there; He opened up all His divine fullness of life and love, and offered to take you up into its fellowship, to make you wholly one with Himself. There was a depth of meaning you cannot yet realise in His words: "Abide IN MY LOVE."" - Andrew Murray

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's your devotion that will define you

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. - Psalm 63:1

There are many things that God could have chosen to define the life of David. He could have chosen to sum David by his mistakes. He could have said:

David a..... murder
David an.....adulterer

But he chose

David a.... man after my heart
David a.... man of devotion

After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ - Acts 13:22

Billy Graham said:

You cannot possibly be a happy, dynamic, and powerful Christian apart from a daily walk with Christ. Christ is calling Christians today to cleansing, to dedication, to consecration, and to full surrender. DEVOTION will make the difference between success and failure in your spiritual life. It will make the difference between being helped and helping others. It will make a difference in your habits, in your prayer life, in your Bible reading, in your giving, in your testimony, and in your church membership.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Surprising Leadership Goals

The great apostle Paul opens his hear to the believers in Philippi giving them the glimpse into the mind and heart of a Godly leader.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
 - Phil 3:12-14

Humbled by his own imperfections. Too often leaders take their eyes off their own weaknesses and sins and to readily see problems in those who are following. If only the people who they are leading were better examples of followers of Jesus then things would be a million times better around here.

Paul was never afraid to put his own frailties and difficulties up front. He didn't try to pretend he was something he wasn't in front of his followers. The recognition of his own imperfections kept his heart humble.

Honoured to be chosen by God. Leadership can go to peoples heads. It is amazing how people can react when they are given just a little bit of "power". No matter how gifted a leader we are we are not God's gift to the world, Jesus is! Paul understood that the only reason he was a leader was "because Christ Jesus has made him his own." 

God is not honoured because we are serving him we are honoured because he found us when we were not even looking for him and we get to serve him and his family.

Hungry for more of God. Leaders tend to be hungry driven goal oriented people. Church leaders always want more. If they have 50 people in their community of faith they want 100. If they have 100 they want 200. If they have 200 they want 500. If they have 100 people in small groups they want 200. If they have one location they want 2. The list goes on. There is nothing wrong with this. Its just that too often the quest for more of these things replace a quest for more of God.

Paul was probably one of the most "successful" leaders of Christianity. He literally had nowhere left to go in his region where he hadn't preached the gospel. (so he went to another region) But his hunger for MORE of God never abated.

Continue to be humbled before a holy God, savour the honour of serving and all powerful God & let the desperation of starvation drive you on to discover more of God.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chapters of Life - Doubt

Chapters of Life - Doubts from MKCCpreaching on Vimeo.

Today I had the opportunity to continue the Chapters of Life teaching series at MKCC - This week DOUBT

  • For too long the church has taught us that if we doubt its a sin. So we hide our doubts. But what I know is that hiding something doesn’t get rid of it it just gives it room to grow. 
  • It’s not the end of the world when we doubt – it’s how we deal with those doubts that’s important. 
  • So many people God works through in his Word were a mixture of belief and doubt. 
  • The fact is that the faith is required doubt is bound to lurk – the two are like stingy nettles and dock leaves – you’ll always find them together. 
  • Faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenceless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. (The Reason for God) - Tim Keller 
  • Zechariah was praying for a child and even when an angel appeared and told him his prayer was going to be answered. Believe it or not Zechariah doubted the message. 
  • God took away his voice for 9 months because of his doubt Somehow I think church would be quite quiet if we all lost our voices every time we doubted a promise of God to us. 
  • John The Baptist, the guy who had lept in his mothers womb at the news of Jesus, had a revelation on the shores of the Jordan river, baptised Jesus and watched the supernatural unfold before his eyes was having doubts, now he was in prison, that Jesus was the Messiah. 
  • What causes us to doubt? Crisis, Isolation & Time. 
  • John faced with his doubts only had one thing to do he went to Jesus. We must do the same. 
  • He does not always answer with the speed we desire, nor is his answer always the deliverance we hope for. But he will always send the help that is needed. His grace will always be sufficient for those who trust him. The hope we taste in the promises we trust will often be the sweetest thing we experience in this age. And his reward will be beyond our imagination. - Desiring God

Monday, July 15, 2013

Vision 500 - IBTI

My "OLD" friend John Whyte and his wife, Eliana, now lead the International Bible Training Institute in Sussex, England.

Through its long history the IBTI has prepared hundreds of students coming from different parts of the world and sent them back to fulfil God's purpose for their lives. Including our leader at MKCC - Mark Sherratt.

They are developing much needed facilities and MKCC is proud to be one of their Vision 500 partners. A fantastic investment.

Check out the video below for more information.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

12 Leadership Principles of Jesus

Thought this article from Leadership from the Heart was just too good not to repost:

There are many leaders I admire who have influenced my own leadership. I admire the teachings on leadership by guys like John Maxwell, Andy Stanley, and Patrick Lencioni. There are leaders from my personal life such as a former pastor, a former boss, a high school principal and leaders in my own community who have influenced me as I have watched their leadership.

I also love to learn from a great athletic coach. I have been known to choose the teams I support by the coach that leads them. I love leadership. It is so needed these days; especially in our churches. The principles, however, that I admire most are found in the leadership style of Jesus. Jesus’ leadership is still impacting culture today.

Here are 12 leadership principles of Jesus that inspire me:

  1. Jesus was willing to invest in people others would have dismissed. Consider the disciples. They were not the “religious” elite, yet Jesus used them to start His church.
  2. Jesus released responsibility and ownership in a ministry. Consider how Jesus sent the disciples out on their own. No micro-management it appears. 
  3. Jesus had a leadership succession plan. Jesus consistently reminded the disciples that He wouldn’t always be with them. Of course, He was still the “leader”, but He left others to take the ministry forward. 
  4. Jesus practiced servant leadership better than anyone. The King of kings was willing to wash the feet of His followers.
  5. Jesus was laser focused on His vision. Regardless of the persecutions or distractions, Jesus kept on the mission God had called Him to complete. 
  6. Jesus handled distractions with grace. When the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years touched His garment, Jesus stopped to heal her, even though headed to a definite purpose. 
  7. Jesus was into self-development. Jesus constantly slipped away to spend time with God. 
  8. Jesus was into leadership development and replacement. He very purposefully prepared the disciples to take over the ministry. He pushed people beyond what they felt they were capable of doing. 
  9. Jesus held followers to high expectations. Jesus was not afraid to make huge requests of people. “Follow Me” meant the disciples had to drop their agenda to do so. He told the disciples they must be willing to lose everything to follow Him. 
  10. Jesus cared more about people than about rules and regulations. He was willing to jeopardize Himself personally by breaking the “rules” to help someone in need. 
  11. Jesus celebrated success in ministry. He rewarded people generously who were faithful to Him and His cause. 
  12. Jesus finished well. Any questions whether His ministry was effective? Still working today. 
Any other reasons you admire the leadership of Jesus?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

All creatures of our God and King

Elevation Creative: All Creatures of Our God And King Remix from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

Watch video here if you can't see

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!

And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.

Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!

- Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

A man with a need couldn't get to Jesus because religion filled the house

Great message from Andrew Shearman at MKCC - Is it time to rip the roof off?

"One day four friends had another friend who was paralysed and they wanted to see him get better. So, they carried him to where they heard a man called Jesus of Nazareth was. When they got there to the house, it was a nice house apparently, they couldn’t get in because there were too many people.

The bible says that the scribes and the Pharisees and all the religious people from Jerusalem in Judea and all the villages around about had come to see this Jesus Christ and they had filled the house till there was no room in the house.

Religion had filled the house and a man with a need couldn’t get to Jesus because religion had filled the house. So they said “we’re not putting up with this” so they climbed up on the roof and ripped the roof off. This is another one of those dvds or however God’s got this technically recorded in heaven that I want to see when I get there. I’ve got lots of things I want to see when I get to heaven.

The owner of the house was no doubt standing in the middle of the house it was probably his lifetimes investment, he’d probably spent many years saving and building it and now the dust is falling around his feet as men are on the roof wrecking his lifetimes investment. I’m here to tell you sometimes it’s worth wrecking a lifetimes investment to get to Jesus. Depends how much you want it.

Some of you might have to change the way you think. A lifetime of intellectual arrogance might need to be ditched in order to let his blessed pierced hand touch you. Not necessarily? It might be, and if necessary we should be prepared to rip our particular roof off. Can I have a little amen to that?!!"

Monday, July 08, 2013

What's the number one reason you are on the planet?

Snippet of a preach from Andrew Shearman at MKCC

Can't see the video click here

Saturday, July 06, 2013

8 reasons NOT to be Anxious

Eight reasons not to be anxious. Originally posted by John Piper in his reading plan on Matthew 6:25-34.

  1. Life is more than food and the body more than clothing (Matthew 6:25). 
  2. God feeds the birds and you are more valuable than they are (Matthew 6:26). 
  3. It's pointless. It adds not one hour to your life (Matthew 6:27). 
  4. If God clothes ephemeral grass, he will clothe eternal you (Matthew 6:28-30). 
  5. Unbelievers are anxious about stuff. And you are not an unbeliever (Matthew 6:32a). 
  6. Your father knows that you need all these things you're anxious about (Matthew 6:32b). 
  7. When you seek first God's kingdom and righteousness, what you need is added to you (Matthew 6:33). 
  8. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Tomorrow's trouble stays there (Matthew 6:34).
"We should be slow to treat Jesus as if he doesn’t know what he is doing in our lives"

Friday, July 05, 2013

The Inheritance of Humility

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, God opposes the proud—but gives grace to the humble. - 1 Peter 5:5

Humility is a choice

"We have no humility by nature. There may be a softness of disposition, and a readiness to yield to others—but there is no true humility." - James Smith

However the choice is not simply to choose by our own force of will to enforce humility on our own puffed up ego. That for sure is to end in failure as eventually all our own acts of rightiousness.

To clothe ourselves in humility is to live in close fellowship with Jesus. By this we are transformed by the sanctifying and transforming work of the Holy Spirit, germinating and growing its fruit in our lives.

Humility puts God in your camp

Pride should be an oxymoron in a Christian's life. The very origin of the label Christian from "Christ like" about the believers in Antioch sets it in context of the greatest act of humility the universe has ever witnessed - The Incarnation.

So for those of us who have colided with our own inability to do anything about our eternal state, and discovered a a grace that we were nither look for or deserved, pride and arrogance should be an unwelcome stranger.

To invite the one, who has through the ultimate act of humility, exhalted us to heavens top table, to oppose us because of our pride is a special kind of insanity.

Humility brings an abundance of God's Grace.

The humble are God's special favorites. God will do anything for them, or give anything to them.

Grace to serve. Grace to endure trials. Grace to have comfort in poverty. Grace of deliverance from danger. Grace to sweeten our sickness. Grace to trust.

May I grow downward in humility before God. O to be like Jesus, rooted in humility. - James Smith

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Three BASIC Disciplines of Leadership

“too many leaders forget that they also need to manage themselves, since no one else is doing it; they fail to put into place key boundaries of self-leadership that the sheer volume of work and responsibilities can obscure.” - Dr Henry Cloud

Billy Hybels says that he was so busy doing the work of God that the work of God was killing the work of God in him.

Most church leaders and pastors are busy driven people. There is always something else to be done. Person to be visited, ministry to launch, book to be read, message to be prepared, e mail to be read.

But busyness can never be an excuse for lack of intimacy with God. Busyness rapes relationship. All too often the first thing that goes out the window are our basic spiritual disciplines.

We don't like the word disciple. But for sure if we sacrifice discipline we wander off the path that leads to intimacy with our saviour. Trying to shepherd his church without colliding daily with the heart & voice of the Good Shepherd will eventually scatter the sheep.

Read God's Word

Devour the Bible. If you don't have the time stop reading other books, blogs, tweets, posts, papers and everything else. No quotes from Piper, Chandler, Driscoll or even C S Lewis can bring the wisdom that the Holy Spirit can through his glorious Word.

Speak to God

Pastors can spend their life talking. Talking too long from the pulpit, talking in counsilling sessions, talking in small groups, talking to anybody and everybody they can on a Sunday morning, talking to other leaders & even talking to God on behalf of someone else.

For some being invited into the VIP lounge at the latest conference to talk to the celebrity speakers would be like all their birthdays come at once.

But nothing can replace the simple act of bowing your head coming alone to the very throne of God, leaning forward and whispering into the ear of the Father. Snatching a moment with your God that is not shared with another mortal. Glancing an eye God's way and capturing His heart.

Listen to God

Perry Noble said Leadership is as easy as listening to God and doing what he say. Church Leadership truly has entered the digital information age. Almost every church that has an internet connection finds a way to podcast. We have access like never before to great leadership voices around the world. A great blessing can become a great curse.

Instead of listening for 55 minutes to the latest Driscoll sermon take the hour to be silent and listen to hear what God wants to say. Driscoll doesn't know you or your situation from Adam. God does! Who would you rather listen too?